Of Pastors and Families [Annual Pastor & Family Picnic]
For a few weeks now, I have been writing on the issue of the local church and fellowship. I thought I would take a break from the study side of this issue and share a report on V4L’s outreach to local pastors. As you know, one of our goals is to equip, encourage, and come alongside local pastors in order to strengthen the churches in our city. We believe this will have a direct effect on the next generation. Almost two years ago, we began an initiative to get to know the pastors in our city. It began simply by meeting with these guys for coffee in order to build relationships – to get to know them. Since then, we have forged deep and intentional relationships with thirteen pastors in our area. It may not seem like a lot, but this corps of men is committed to the purity of the gospel and transferring that to the next generation. They don’t play at it. They are serious about it.
Last year, we held our first annual “Pastor & Family Picnic” on a hot, muggy summer day. Though sweltering, the turnout was fantastic and the fellowship was sweet. Throughout the year, we continue to maintain contact and seek to support and encourage these pastors in any way we can. They are on the frontlines of ministry and it is hard. They and their families are often giving without receiving at all. We want to be the ones giving to them. We have lent a listening ear when it was needed. Dad has been able to fill the pulpit when they need a break. Our family knows what it means to invest as a pastor’s family, having previously been in the pastorate.
This year the “Pastor & Family Picnic” was another success. The picnic saw much better weather and new faces. You know people are enjoying themselves when they stay late – and that is the way we like it. The BBQ from our local town and the side dishes made by the ladies were relished by all. The abundance of kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves throughout the three-acre property on which we live. I think our neighbors may have wondered what war had descended upon their quiet little neighborhood. The night ended well as we rounded out the evening with a bonfire.
As I made my way around to talk with everyone, I could not help thinking of the gospel potential that was standing in our front lawn. Represented in our front yard were men and women who are committed to the purity of the gospel both in preaching and discipleship. I don’t pretend to think that we have anything overly profound to offer these fellow laborers. However, we are grateful that the Lord has given our family the privilege to labor alongside these Pastors and their families. If I can strengthen these leaders in a small way, praise and glory be to God. May His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.
[Be sure to check out our Facebook page for a few more photos]